Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lulu's Story...

Lulu and I have been friends for many years. As soon as we met, we became instant friends, and although throughout the years our lives have taken different twists and turns, we have always remained close. We were joking the other day about how many of her husbands I have known. Three. Or four. Lulu is one of those people I like -- a true character. She is intelligent, a bit acerbic, witty, well-educated and funny. She is an interior designer, and had designed the offices of one of the companies situated in the World Trade Centers. On the day the towers came down, Lulu phoned me from Toronto, and all she could say was "Oh, sh*t, oh, sh*t". Everyone she knew in that office had perished, as well as many of the people she had known in the Windows on the World Restaurant at the top of the North Tower.

Lulu had been adopted as a child, and she had always been curious about her real identity. Her adoptive family was Scottish-Canadian, and she had been raised in the Scottish tradition, but she was never sure if those were her true roots. She had one brother, also adopted, and she said she always felt a bit like a lost soul. There was a part of her that seemed to be searching for something, a persona that she carefully guarded. She had a wandering spirit, and was able to pick up and leave wherever she was, and just as quickly put down roots in another location. She had become adept at making a home for herself anywhere.

The other day Lulu told me she had recently found her birth records and had found her biological mother and father. She was delighted to know that she was indeed of Scottish heritage, and she told me her real name. I laughed because it suits her even more than the name she has now, and as she said it, it seemed to slip around her shoulders like a comfortable, perfectly fitted jacket -- tartan of course. The look on her face was like watching a lost piece of a jigsaw puzzle snapping into place, completing the picture. Her birth family even has a traditional Scottish tartan, and the strange thing is, for as long as I have known Lulu, she has owned a kilt in that very tartan. Lulu was also delighted to learn that she has eight brothers and sisters. I asked her if she had found any of them, and she said, "It would be rather difficult to find eight brothers and sisters", and I said "But you would only have to find one -- the rest would follow." She said she couldn't imagine finding other people in this world who might perhaps look like her, or have some similarity to her. She has never known what that feels like.

I can hardly wait to hear the rest of Lulu's story. I have a feeling there's a lot more yet to be discovered.

24 comments:

DUTA said...

Adoption and genealogy are both fascinating subjects. I was just thinking about the matter of 'family tree', and whether the people on it have to be blood- related only or include also adopted ones.

KathyB. said...

I found out after I was 30 years old that my father was not my biological father ( but father in every other sense of the word). After he died I sought out my biological father and his family and found another whole group of people more like me than any relatives I had known before excepting my maternal grandmother. I was unprepared for how much this meant to me in spite of being well loved by the father who raised me. I am not sure why this is ultimately so important, but it is. I am glad for your friend she has found her birth family and origin....I hope she and then you fill us in on any new details of discovery for her.

lakeviewer said...

Oh Lulu is already a fascinating character. I'm glad she is finding her roots. We all need to feel part of the full story of our life.

Bruce Coltin said...

Why am I not surprised that you know a character like Lulu?

Laurie said...

What a wonderful story! I used to have a roommate who, during the time we lived together, learned that her (much older) sister was really her mother. She was told because her birth father wanted to get to know her. So, at age 22, she met an entirely new family...brothers, sisters, grandparents...they were all lovely people who embraced and welcomed her into their lives. I wish the same for Lulu.

Land of shimp said...

What Tartan? Heh, sorry Jo, out of that entire fascinating story, that was the thing my mind latched onto like a bulldog.

Lulu's story is fascinating though. Is she the oldest of the eight (or would it be nine)? I wonder how it came to be that she was put up for adoption.

Of the people I've known who were adopted, there doesn't seem to be any tremendous similarity in how they approach that. Out of the half dozen people I know, two had been told since the time they were small, and had no interest in finding their biological parents, but the third person who had always known searched for quite a long time (and was successful).

My son's grandfather on his father's side was adopted and never had any interest whatsoever in finding his biological parents.

Isn't it just a fascinating thing? Some people feel as if they are searching throughout their lives for the part of them they don't know. Others, like my son's grandfather, just never had any interest.

DJan said...

What a great story, Jo! I love hearing about these stories, and how much of who we are is established by our genes. And hopefully she will find and meet this other side of her family, and will know them as her siblings. What a great story and I can't wait to hear more!

Indian Pundit said...

Hi Jo

Another great post from you.
Loved the story of your friend Lulu.

You know, i absolutely LOVE your posts and the way u describe people.
Simply brilliant.

Take care

Kathy's Klothesline said...

This is one of the reasons that my son and his wife chose open adoption. His little girls talk freely about their "birth" families and see them at least twice a year. I don't know what this will be like when puberty hits and all those hormones go wild, but we shall see!

SparkleFarkle said...

I can hardly wait to hear the rest of Lulu's story, too! (What a remarkable woman. If she were a color, she'd be tartan plaid!) Perhaps a book-writing will be in order? DO keep us posted-- thanks, Jo!

PhilipH said...

One good thing is that finding people is a lot easier nowadays compared to pre-web days.

Lulu's story is most interesting. I am sure there was a song called "Don't Bring Lulu" some years ago. Not about THIS Lulu obviously!

Susie Hemingway said...

This was such an interesting post and I found it all rather exciting,imagine finding out you had eight brothers and sisters, Wow! My eldest sister is writing a wonderful family history and has spent many months researching, it has been such fun to find some rather strange family members and some wonderful tales but no extra sisters or brothers - well not yet anyway!

Whitney Lee said...

This is exciting! I can't imagine what this might be like. Family is very important to me, and I am so accustomed to all the similarities between us...She must be flummoxed! The bit about the tartan is pretty amazing. Isn't life funny?

Meggie said...

I love this story! We have an adopted sister, who is dear to us. She was so amazed to recognize how like our mother she really is! Even her mannerisms and habits, which she was so thrilled to see, when she met our mother. We met a wonderful sister, and some wonderful nieces and nephews.

PinkPanthress said...

Must have been awesome to finally find that missing link in her life!
:) This Lulu sounds very interesting!

Jo said...

Duta, genealogy is interesting, isn't it? I think it includes blood-related only, though.

Kathy, my goodness, that must have been quite a shock to you to find out that your father was not really your father. But what an amazing story. And imagine finding people who are just like you. Incredible!

Lakeviewer, yes, she is having a wonderful time finding out about herself. :-)

Bruce, *heh*. And we understand each other, too.

Laurie, omigoodness, that's incredible! I read once about an actor who found out in adulthood that his sister was really his mother. Amazing!

Alane, if anyone can recognize that tartan, it would be you. I thought of that when I posted it. Apparently my friend is the youngest of the children. Her mother had had an extramarital affair, and put her up for adoption. Sad story!

DJan, I would love to meet my friend's brothers and sisters, to see how similar they are to her. What a hoot, hey?

IP, thank you...! What a wonderful compliment!

Kathy, yes, I understand open adoption are fairly common now, and I think it's a nice idea. People should know what their roots are.

Sparkle, hopefully I will be able to post more about Lulu's story. She is a very interesting person. You would like her. :-)

Philip, *chuckle* I have never heard that song. And yes, I have always found Luly to be an interesting person. There's never a dull moment. :-)

Susie, I had a cousin who did a family tree, and it was fabulously interesting. I had no idea our family had so many doctors, lawyers and army officers in our family. And there is a journalism scholarship at a Canadian university named for one of my relatives. I had no idea!

Whitney, the part about the tartan amazed me too. I have seen her wear it often, and it is her clan tartan. Who knew!

Meggie, that must be incredible to find a sister who had been adopted out, and now to meet her. I can't even imagine! I alway wanted a sister, and used to hope that would happen to me. :-)

PinkPanthress, yes, Lulu is an amazing person, and I think part of it is because she has had such an interesting life.

Barbara said...

So what was her real name?

Marguerite said...

Fascinating post, Jo! One of my best girl-friends was adopted and she still does not know her true identity! I couldn't imagine not knowing my roots. Hope that Lulu finds her siblings, soon!

kenju said...

I really hope that Lulu will seek out her siblings. I am adopted too (as you may know). My adoptive family was Irish and English, and I always identified with the Irish part. When I met my birth mom 12 years ago, I found out that I was Scottish and English. Unfortunately, I have no siblings, since my birth parents couldn't have more kids after I was born.

Mia said...

One of my goals in life that will probably never be fulfilled is to trace my family's genealogy.

A human kind of human said...

This is such a wonderful story and I hope you will keep us posted as it unfolds.

Paula Slade said...

Wonderful first chapter - I hope Lulu finishes her book.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What a lovely story. I have often thought of the plight of adopted children and how it must feel that part of them is missing. Will she meet her biological parents? Are they together, and are the other eight children of the same pairing? Please tell us more as this fascinating story unfolds. I have always felt as if I were adopted and had "real" parents somewhere, but don't think I really was.

Sue said...

Oh, I hope she finds her siblings. One of my sisters is adopted and has siblings that we have till not managed to locate. But we keep trying!

=)